PUNE, India (July 31, 2009) – Host India did not disappoint its home crowd as it captured a 25-11, 25-15, 25-13 victory over Tunisia on Friday evening on the opening day of the 2009 FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship (U-21) being held July 31-Aug. 9 at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, India.
The victory celebration led into an elaborate Opening Ceremony involving all 16 teams competing at the two venues. The dignitaries included several key government officials from Maharashtra and Pune.
Despite the short three-set victory, India had four players score at least seven points topped by captain Mandeep Singh’s 12 points. Singh Gurinder and Jacob Manidurai Naveen Raja both turned in 10 points for India. Girigoud Sangamanath Somnath tallied a match-high five blocks as part of a nine-point performance.
Mohamed Ali Saada and captain Ismail Moalla provided Tunisia five points in the loss, while three other players recorded four points.
India won virtually every category during the match with a 10-0 block advantage and 6-0 margin in aces. India also benefited from 25 Tunisia errors.
The match was part of the three-day, four-team round-robin first round Pool A also involving United States and Belarus. The host team from India takes on Belarus on Saturday at 18:00 local time on the middle day of the opening round, while Tunisia faces the United States at 14:00 local time. The overall tournament consists of 16 teams with four pools of four teams in the first round.
The top two teams from each first-round pool advances to second round 1-8 classification matches to be held Aug. 4-6. The bottom two teams in each first-round pool falls to the second round 9-16 classification matches.
India had little trouble in the first two sets rolling to 25-11 and 25-15 set victories. In both sets, India used a balanced attack to win as five players scored in each set.
During the third set, India continued to roll and forced Tunisia to take its final timeout of the match at 21-11. India scored the final four of six points to win the third set 25-13.